Tafenoquine (Arakoda) is now available in the United States, the first prescription medicine approved for the prevention of adult malaria, according to a press release. Tafenoquine has the potential for thousands of US passengers and military personnel to prevent the symptoms of malaria.
Geoffrey Dow, 60P Pharmaceuticals Chief Executive, said in a statement, “Malaria is among the deadliest diseases on the rise in the United States as well as other parts of the world.” It poses a significant threat to millions of healthy people traveling to endemic areas of malaria, including leisure tourists, NGO staff, industrial and business workers, and military personnel.
Tafenoquine was the first antimalarial medicine authorized in more than 18 years for malaria prevention. The approval resulted in many years of scientific research as well as discovery by malaria and infectious disease experts with more than 25 clinical trials and 3,000 participants.
In one of the multicenter, randomized trials, the New England Journal of Medicine reports 522 patients with Plasmodium vivax, a protozoan parasite, and the most common cause of recurrent malaria.
More than 62% was free of recurrence in the tafenoquine population at a rate of six months relative to about 28% in the placebo group. The study showed a significantly lower risk of P. vivax recurrence than placebo in patients with phenotypically ordinary glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase activity.
Malaria is a life-threatening disease spread by the infected mosquito bite which caused nearly 429,000 deaths as well as 212 million medical cases in 2015 according to the CDC. Malaria cases were on the increase among travelers returning to the United States.
In September 2019, Tafenoquine was shipped significantly to the U.S. Army first. The drug is now available in the market via selected pharmaceutical wholesalers and shops.